We cater for musicians of all abilities and aim to provide personalised opportunities for all children to achieve their full potential. Each year we also have talented children who prepare for 13+ scholarships at Senior Schools across the UK.
The Music Department is housed in a purpose-built building and is a busy place. Approximately 90% of children in the Upper School and 58% of those in P2/3 play at least one instrument. Over 240 lessons take place within school each week, given by our enthusiastic staff of 14 peripatetic specialist teachers. Individual music lessons are usually offered from P2 onwards, and consultation appointments with the Director of Music are available to help parents to choose an instrument to suit their child. There is a short timetabled practice time for F7/8 and we encourage the children in F4/6 to come to ‘practice club’ sessions during the afternoon to ensure they find time to play their instrument each day.
Practical music exams (ABRSM and Trinity) take place on a termly basis within the school, for those children wishing to take these. Theory classes are popular; children have the opportunity to prepare for theory exams up to Grade 5, which also take place within school twice a year.
As soon as children are able to, we encourage them to join a music group, rehearsing during our morning break times. Different groups are offered each term in order to broaden the musical experiences and opportunities available and cater for the instrumentalists in each year. In a typical school year, weekly music groups within the school are as follows:
Spring Term (focus on Scottish Music):
Singing is a major part of school life. All children take part in age-group choirs and in F7 and F8 children take part in our busy Chapel Choir which rehearses to prepare for fortnightly services and as well as concert performances and important school events such as our Remembrance Day, Advent and Christmas Carol Services. A highlight of the Summer term is the Choir Tour, which in 2022 included performances at Brinkburn Priory, St Cuthbert’s Parish Church in Edinburgh and Rothbury Parish Church as well as our local care home. The choir has in the past performed at varied external venues including Rosslyn Chapel, Lindisfarne Priory and Durham Cathedral.
For children learning an instrument, there are numerous performance opportunities designed to suit the children’s growing confidence and musical skills. Regular online Mini Concerts are published each Friday during term to give children the opportunity to share their achievements with friends and family. Children also have the opportunity to perform live as part of Poetry Recitals and at live Mini Concerts to a supportive audience. More experienced soloists play within Thursday Chapel services and at whole-school concerts. Our most able musicians are invited to take part in performance masterclasses with visiting musicians and to perform at external concerts.
Performing together is a central part of our school culture. All of Forms 4 & 5 play the recorder in an ensemble. We have whole-school concerts at the end of each term where our musical groups are featured. In addition, our Pipe Band makes an important contribution with performances at our Remembrance Day Service and Summer Fair, as well as an increasing number of external performances throughout the year.
As well as holding an annual Prep School’s Brass Day, we attend events at senior schools, including the annual Strings Day at Kilgraston, the Glenalmond Choral Day and the Fettes Orchestral Day.
We are fortunate to have a highly qualified and experienced team of peripatetic teachers:
Mr Craig Anderson – brass
Mrs Cindy Holden - cello
Mrs Shona Jones – piano and cello
Miss Alison Storm – classical guitar
Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.